The sinking library

The Geisel library was designed by William Pereira in the late 1960s as part of the University of California, San Diego. The monolithic diamond-like structure is square in plan with 4 identical facades. The first three floors are supported by 16 concrete brackets which gives the library its sculptural character – it almost looks like a palm holding thick sheets of glass. Some urban myths are circulating about this particular library – one is that the architect did not take into account the weight of all the books in his design, and that the library is now sinking. Another is that the original design did not include the brackets, or buttresses, because, again, the dear architect Pereira did not consider the weight of books.

It is with relief I can say that the UCSD Library’s official web page confirm these myths are only myths, and that the architect in charge was not brain dead.



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